Fantasy football preseason first impressions

We finally got a look at some live football over the past week and there were a lot of things to take away. Here are a few thoughts as we look back at the first full week of games, and look forward at what’s to come:

Golladay puts fantasy owners on notice

Kenny Golladay might not be a sleeper anymore. He would have been a nice receiver to stow away late in your drafts but probably not now after catching two touchdown passes in his preseason debut. Golladay is going in the 14th round currently, but he likely moves up if he keeps it up.

Foreman to be more than a handcuff?

D’Onta Foreman looked great in his debut, busting out on a 41-yard run and averaging 8.4 yards per carry. Lamar Miller will start, but if Foreman continues to impress it will be hard for the Texans to keep him off the field.

Let these rookie QBs play

Deshaun Watson was 15 of 25 for 174 yards and rushed for a touchdown for the Texans. Mitch Trubisky had a dream debut for Chicago as he went 18 of 25 for 166 yards and a touchdown. And Patrick Mahomes has already moved up the depth chart to No. 2 behind Alex Smith. They all looked good, but they need to be named starters before you make any plans with them in mind.

When does Rico Gathers officially become fantasy-relevant?

Rico Gathers had four catches for 47 yards and scored for the second straight game in the preseason. With Jason Witten in front of him on the depth chart, does that mean he’s not going to contribute this year? He passes the eye test, though, and if he can carve himself a red zone role then it’s possible he makes it on some fantasy rosters.

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Monitor these running backs

These backs aren’t currently the apparent starters on their teams. But that could change soon:
De’Angelo Henderson, Broncos: He had 54 yards and averaged 7.7 yards per carry in the first preseason game. The Broncos backfield is somewhat unsettled, though C.J. Anderson looks to be the starter.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers: He’ll actually start the first four games for the suspended Doug Martin and it’s possible he could keep the job outright if he performs well.
Joe Williams, 49ers: Carlos Hyde is looking like he’ll keep his job, but Williams busted out for 60 yards on seven carries after it was reported he was having a bad camp.
Thomas Rawls, Seahawks: When Eddie Lacy signed with Seattle it was assumed he’d take over as the featured back. Rawls is hoping to hold him off, however, and started the first preseason game.
Dion Lewis, Patriots: Lewis was once considered a solid, versatile running back before injuries stalled his development. He looked good in the first week of preseason, gaining 55 yards on 11 touches. If Mike Gillislee struggles with his hamstring for long, Lewis could make a comeback.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 8 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit for your upcoming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals — He obviously has a great weapon in A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert is expected to be more productive after coming back from injury last week. Dalton should be good to go against a Washington pass defense that’s middle of the pack.

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers — Feel free to let him loose on an Oakland defense that is 29th in points allowed to quarterbacks.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks — He’s been terrible since the bye, and he’s had only one really good game this season. If he can’t do well against the Saints this week, leave him on the bench.

Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos — Booker was already making an impact, but now that C.J. Anderson will miss significant time, he should be the lead back in Denver.

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) runs against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) runs against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Buccaneers — Rodgers is coming off two straight 100-yard games and faces an Oakland defense that is 23rd in points allowed to running backs.

Ty Montgomery, RB/WR, Packers — Sure, he’s getting touches at running back, but he’s been targeted a total of 25 times in the passing game in the past two weeks. That volume leads to big results.

Randall Cobb, WR, Packers — Facing the Falcons, a team that gives up nearly 300 yards passing per game, there’s room for more than two Packers receivers to be successful. Cobb has been on a tear the past three weeks. Heck, even Jordy Nelson, who has struggled recently, might have a good game.

Wide receiver Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers carries the ball against the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers carries the ball against the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Will Fuller, WR, Texans — Brock Osweiler doesn’t instill confidence in you, but Fuller is due a good game. He faces a Lions defense that is 26th in points allowed to wideouts, and the speedy rookie has been targeted no less than six times in each game he’s played.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks — The Saints are middle of the road in points allowed to tight ends, but Graham plays like a wide receiver. He should get his this week.

Sits

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears — The only people happy about him starting are Alshon Jeffery owners. Cutler will target Jeffery at will, but that doesn’t mean he’ll produce well himself.

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers — The last time he faced the Broncos he started the game on fire, but after San Diego took the lead, the game script left him with a bad game. This time he faces Denver on the road with DeMarcus Ware possibly back in the lineup.

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Jordan Howard, RB, Bears — He’s gained just 62 total yards in his last two games and faces a tough Vikings defense on Monday night.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — He’s rushed for more than 77 yards only one time this season, and the Cowboys are actually really good at limiting running backs’ fantasy points.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins — His hamstring and shoulder are bothering him and he hasn’t played like a WR1 since Week 3. Sit him against a good Bengals pass defense.

Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) waits on a pass defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson (24) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) waits on a pass defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson (24) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Travis Benjamin, WR, Chargers — Benjamin had just 17 yards receiving the last time he faced the Broncos. He’s dealing with a knee injury as well, so it makes sense to sit him even if he plays.

Martellus Bennett, TE, Patriots — Play a starter who is the No. 1 tight end option on his team instead of Bennett. He hasn’t been good for two games in a row, and the Bills are fourth best at limiting points by the position.

Fantasy football Week 7 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit for your upcoming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals — When looking for a quarterback to stream in any given week, first ask yourself, “Is he playing the Browns?” Dalton is playing the Browns this week. He’s performing well this season, but lacks the number of touchdown passes you want out of a starter.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins — Cousins hasn’t been bad this year for fantasy, and he gets to face Detroit, a team that gives up the most points to quarterbacks.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s coming off two monster games so he should be able to produce against the Colts defense, which is 26th in points allowed to quarterbacks.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Buccaneers — Doug Martin suffered a setback and is out for this week, and Rodgers gets to face the 49ers rushing defense that allows more than 170 yards per game.

Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against Robert McClain #27 of the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against Robert McClain #27 of the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs — Not to say Jamaal Charles will have a bad game, but Ware will have ample opportunity to put up big numbers against the Saints defense as well. They are last in points allowed to running backs.

Mike Gillislee, RB, Bills — This comes with a major caveat. If LeSean McCoy is healthy enough to go, you won’t want Gillislee starting. If McCoy’s hamstring keeps him out, however, Gillislee is coming off his most productive performance.

Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars — You were hoping he would be at least a top-10 performing receiver when you drafted him, but he’s been disappointing so far. Start him against the Raiders since they allow the second-most points to wideouts.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs — Consider him a decent start, but he really should do well against the Saints defense. If he doesn’t get it done against them, only use him as a bye week replacement afterward.

Jeremy Maclin #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs after a catch against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 16, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jeremy Maclin #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs after a catch against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 16, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals — Again, you have to make sure he’s playing, but if he gets the nod, he should be a solid play against the Browns, who are last in points allowed to tight ends.

Sits

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals — He was a start last week but performed poorly. The Cardinals are in the midst of changing identities, possibly riding the success of running back David Johnson for the rest of the season. Not to mention they face the Seahawks.

Matt Forte, RB, Jets — In Week 2 he had 30 carries and 3 touchdowns. It’s the last time he scored and his numbers have gotten steadily worse. The Ravens are second-best at limiting running backs in scoring.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — He’s had no more than 11 carries in each of his past four games and he faces a great Minnesota defense that has had two weeks to prepare.

Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by defensive end Trent Murphy #93 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on October 16, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by defensive end Trent Murphy #93 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on October 16, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals — Three touchdowns in his past five games have inflated his production a bit. He probably won’t fare well against the Seahawks.

Will Fuller, WR, Texans — He didn’t play against the Colts last week and he faces the Broncos this week. This matchup is too tough for you to expect positive results.

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots — The targets and opportunities are there, but the production hasn’t been. Facing the Steelers, who are ninth best in points allowed to receivers, won’t help. His past four games have been stinkers.